The Thai government said Tuesday it was investigating claims that supposedly celibate Buddhist monks have been using a U.S.-based social networking website to flirt with women.

"We are looking for a way to monitor the use of the website by monks," said Chakrapob Penkair, a minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office.

The controversy arose after a self-styled watchdog group — the Network of Civilians to Protect the Nation, the Religion and the King — said monks were using the social networking site hi5 to flirt with women.